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First Lady Mary Pat Christie Visit

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For Immediate Release Contact: Michael Drewniak

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 Kevin Roberts

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First Lady Mary Pat Christie visits BMWHC

First Lady Mary Pat Christie Honors Purple R.E.I.G.N. Founder Asia D. Smith as a New Jersey Hero for Empowering Survivors of Domestic Abuse

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: First Lady Mary Pat Christie honors Ms. Asia D. Smith, Founder /CEO of Purple R.E.I.G.N. with her 19th New Jersey Hero Award. Pictured from right to left: Esney M. Sharpe, Presi-dent/CEO of Bessie Mae Women‟s Health Center; First Lady Mary Pat Christie; Asia D. Smith, Founder of Purple R.E.I.G.N.

Trenton, NJ – First Lady Mary Pat Christie named Asia D. Smith her 19 New Jersey Hero for her commitment to make a difference in the lives of domestic abuse survivors. As a survivor of domes-tic violence, Asia is a powerful example that anyone can be a victim and there is life beyond abuse. As founder and CEO of Purple R.E.I.G.N, a non-profit advocacy agency specializing in programs and services for those impacted by physical and sexual assault, she works daily to heal and empower victims, especially those in underserved communities. “Asia has such a compelling story - one of tragedy, triumph and hope,” said Mrs. Christie. “She has overcome perilous acts of domes-tic violence that no individual should have to endure. In doing so, Asia has become a role model for other survivors and I am so inspired by the work she and her organization, Purple R.E.I.G.N., are doing in the community to educate and empower the lives of so many victims. I am proud to name Asia Smith a New Jersey Hero.” Purple R.E.I.G.N. Social Services, which operates in part-nership with the Bessie Mae Women‟s Health Center in East Orange, provides a comprehensive range of services that includes: preventative strategies, crisis inter-vention counseling, advocacy, educational workshops, training classes, safety planning, resources/transitional services, referrals, restraining orders, and assess-ments. “I am honored beyond words to receive the New Jersey Heroes award on behalf of the more than one billion victims globally, and on behalf of an in-credible aunt that I never had the opportunity to know, because at the age of 24, she was viciously attacked as she left work and mur-dered by her estranged husband,” said Asia Smith. “Today, I proudly accept this award on behalf of the millions of tenacious advocates and survivors who vigorously „fight‟ domestic violence and sexu- al assault every waking moment of their lives. I also accept this award on behalf of myself for having the courage to take the most horrific experiences of my life and not only overcome them, but use them as fuel to help others globally do what I‟ve done: turn tragedy to triumph.”